Miliband: Britain was slow to act against US torture

'The facts are that bad things were done by the Americans after 2002 and they didn't tell anyone else.' Miliband: Britain was slow to act against US torture --Critics of Labour leadership frontrunner accuse him of 'burying his head in the sand' over abuses 29 Aug 2010 The United States did "bad things" to terror suspects in the wake of 9/11 which Britain was too slow to realise, David Miliband acknowledges today as he brandishes his record as Foreign Secretary to bolster his Labour leadership ambitions. In an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday, the contest's frontrunner speaks bluntly about both the behaviour of Britain's closest intelligence ally and the failings of his predecessors at the Foreign Office in not recognising sooner the US's unacceptable treatment of detainees prisoners.

Dream deferrers converge on DC

Dream deferrers converge on DC 29 Aug 2010 A huge rally of US conservatives in Washington has drawn criticism from progressive groups as it has coincided with the anniversary of a civil rights event. At the "Restoring Honor" rally, about 100,000 conservatives and advocates of the Tea Party movement gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to, as the organizers of the event said, honor US principles. The event was led by right-wing icons whackjobs such as Fox News conservative talk show host Glenn Beck and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, AFP reported.

Homeland Security head praises Chicago's security cameras

Homeland Security head praises Chicago's security cameras 27 Aug 2010 U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday ranked Chicago's Big Brother network of well over 10,000 public and private surveillance cameras as one of the nation’s most extensive and integrated - and Mayor Daley wants to make it even bigger. "Expansion of cameras citywide is one of the highest priorities that will help us here in the city of Chicago," Daley said with Napolitano at his side.

Afghans protest killing of civilians

Afghans protest killing of civilians --The demonstrators also chanted anti-US slogans and blocked the area's main roads for several hours. 28 Aug 2010 Hundreds of Afghan people have held took to the streets in the eastern province of Ghazni to protest against the presence of private security firms in the country. Over 500 protesters condemned the killing of two Afghan civilians by mercenaries in the region, a Press TV correspondent reported on Saturday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for the expulsion all private security firms operating in the country.

Desperate homeowners line up for mortgage modification marathon

Desperate homeowners line up for mortgage modification marathon --At least 1,000 people arrived before the doors opened. 27 Aug 2010 The Palm Beach County Convention Center filled again Friday with tales of mortgage woe. Before dawn, with a plump white moon overhead, a line of desperate home­owners trailed around the outside of the building... Because for most of the people in the queue, the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America is the end of the line. The last chance to save their homes. The nonprofit will be here through Tuesday helping people get lower monthly payments through loan modifications.

ACLU Blasts Jailhouse Pain Ray, Condemns 'Star Wars Tech'

ACLU Blasts Jailhouse Pain Ray, Condemns 'Star Wars Tech' By Noah Shachtman 27 Aug 2010 To the shock of absolutely no one, the ACLU hates the idea of blasting Los Angeles prisoners with an invisible heat ray. The civil liberties organization has sent a letter to L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca, begging him to not use the pain weapon, less than a week after its installation at the Pitchess Detention Center... The Assault Intervention Device is a small-scale version of the U.S. military’s Active Denial System, which blasts a target with millimeter waves that penetrate a 64th of an inch beneath the skin.

Federal contractor charged with leaking top secret North Korea intel to Fox News

Federal contractor charged with leaking top secret North Korea intel to Fox News 27 Aug 2010 The Obama administration on Friday accused an analyst who worked at the State Department of leaking top secret information about North Korea to a reporter. Steven Kim, who worked at State as an employee of a contractor, maintains his innocence. He was named in a federal indictment unsealed Friday and charged with illegally disclosing national defense information, which carries a top penalty of 10 years in prison, and with making false statements to the FBI, which has a maximum five-year sentence.

Colonel Kicked Out of Afghanistan for Anti-PowerPoint Rant

Colonel Kicked Out of Afghanistan for Anti-PowerPoint Rant By Spencer Ackerman 27 Aug 2010 The NATO command in Afghanistan has fired a staff officer who publicly criticized its interminable briefings, its over-reliance on Microsoft’s slide-show program, and what he considered its crushing bureaucracy. Army Col. Lawrence Sellin, a 61-year old reservist from New Jersey who served in Afghanistan and Iraq prior to this deployment, got the sack Thursday from his job as a staff officer at the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul. The hammer fell barely 48 hours after United Press International ran a passionate op-ed he wrote to lament that "little of substance is really done here."

CIA making secret payments to members of Karzai administration

CIA making secret payments to members of Karzai administration --Some aides function as CIA informants, but others collect stipends under more 'informal arrangements' 27 Aug 2010 The CIA is making secret payments to multiple members of President Hamid Karzai's administration, in part to maintain sources of information in a government in which the Afghan leader is often seen as having a limited grasp of developments, according to current and former U.S. officials. The payments are long-standing in many cases and designed to help the agency maintain a deep roster of allies within the presidential palace.

Honduran journalist killing makes 8 for the year

Honduran journalist killing makes 8 for the year 26 Aug 2010 A Honduran reporter was found shot to death Tuesday in the city of San Pedro Sula, making him at least the eighth journalist killed in the country this year. Unidentified gunmen shot Israel Zelaya Diaz twice in the head and once in the chest, according to local press reports. Zelaya worked for broadcaster Radio International.

Beck sounds religious rallying call ahead of 'Restoring Honor' event

Mega barf alert *and* gag me with a chainsaw: Beck sounds religious rallying call ahead of 'Restoring Honor' event --'My role is ... to wake America up to the back-sliding of principles and values and, most importantly, of God' 28 Aug 2010 Glenn Beck promised his Restoring Honor the Third Reich rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Saturday would fundamentally transform the U.S., sounding a deeply religious note in advance of the controversial event. ome 100,000 conservative, tea party supporters -- including potential 2012 presidential candidate Sarah Palin -- are expected at the demonstration on the same spot where Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 47 years ago to the day.

First Military Tribunal Case Could Damage U.S. Reputation

First Military Tribunal Case Could Damage U.S. Reputation 28 Aug 2010 After working for a year to redeem the international reputation of military tribunals, Obama administration officials are alarmed by the first case to go to trial under revamped rules: the prosecution of a former child soldier whom an American interrogator implicitly threatened with gang rape. The defendant, Omar Khadr, was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan and accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier.

Sarah Palin Speech Contract Should Not Have Been Secret, Rules Judge

Sarah Palin Speech Contract Should Not Have Been Secret, Rules Judge --California School Paid $75K, Contract Required 'Bendable' Straws, Lux Hotel 27 Aug 2010 A California judge has ruled that the $75,000 in fees paid to Sarah Palin for her speech at a state university should not have been kept secret. The ruling issued this week serves as a postscript to the flap over Palin's June visit to California State University Stanislaus, where university officials repeatedly refused to disclose how much they had paid to lure the A-list Republican celebrity-pol to serve as keynote speaker for a fundraising gala.

NASA called in to support 33 trapped Chilean miners

NASA called in to support 33 trapped Chilean miners 27 Aug 2010 The 33 miners trapped inside a Chilean mine since August 5 have been told for the first time that they could be stuck underground for as long as four months, the head of the rescue operation said Friday. But Andre Sougarret, the mines manager for the state mining company, and Chilean government representative Jimena Matos also said they are working on a "Plan B," which could help speed up the rescue process.

A lucky escape: How David Cameron was almost shot down by a Taliban rocket

A lucky escape: How David Cameron was almost shot down by a Taliban rocket --'It was a much closer thing than anyone said at the time.' 27 Aug 2010 David Cameron came close to being assassinated at the hands of the Taliban on his last trip to Afghanistan, it emerged yesterday. Military sources revealed that insurgents armed with shoulder launched rockets knew which helicopter to target when the Prime Minister visited a base in Helmand province. Intercepted communications by the militants referred to the desire to shoot down the Chinook carrying the 'Big Commander'.

Osama bin Laden 'is a bought and paid for CIA agent' claims Cuban leader Fidel Castro

Osama bin Laden 'is a bought and paid for CIA agent' claims Cuban leader Fidel Castro [and lots of other people] 27 Aug 2010 Cuban leader Fidel Castro has claimed Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden is a bought-and-paid-for CIA agent. The country's former president has said that the world's most wanted terrorist always popped up when former US President [sic] George W Bush needed to scare the world, and argued that recently published documents on the internet prove it.

Murdered Spy May Have Met His Killer On Missions to USA

Murdered Spy May Have Met His Killer On Missions to USA 27 Aug 2010 The hunt for the killer of British spy Gareth Williams switched to the USA yesterday. Grieving relatives of the MI6 code breaker revealed that he had been sent on several missions to America. He is understood to have returned from there shortly before he was killed. Police investigating the murder of the brilliant mathematician are trying to establish who he met in the US and if any of his contacts visited Britain recently.

U.S. military wants to exert influence over private cyber infrastructure

U.S. military wants to exert influence over private cyber infrastructure --The Pentagon is urging that its defense expertise be put in play beyond the .mil domain to include .gov and .com and wants policy makers to figure out how best to do that. 26 Aug 2010 The U.S. military wants to exert more influence over the protection of power grids, transportation networks and financial network systems, a Pentagon official says in a broad-ranging essay published in Foreign Affairs. The reasons are that the military relies on these networks to deal with suppliers and that these networks could become military targets, says William J. Lynn III, undersecretary of defense, in the essay called "Defending a New Domain."

CIA probes British spy murder, frequently sent to NSA

CIA probes British spy murder as it emerges he was sent on frequent missions to Pentagon's high-security listening post 27 Aug 2010 The CIA was called in to help investigate the murder of an MI6 spy last night as it emerged he was sent on frequent secret missions to the United States. American intelligence officers are poring over every detail of Gareth Williams's work and personal life to see if the circumstances of his death endangered U.S. national security. The Daily Mail can reveal that the 31-year-old codebreaker flew to the National Security Agency, the Pentagon's listening post and the largest intelligence agency in the world, up to four times a year.

WikiLeaks war logs posting 'will lead to free speech ruling'

WikiLeaks war logs posting 'will lead to free speech ruling' --US supreme court likely to have to rule on issue of balancing national security and freedom of speech, says judge 27 Aug 2010 US supreme court justice Sonia Sotomayor has said the court is likely to have to rule on the issue of balancing national security and freedom of speech due to WikiLeaks posting a cache of US military records about the Afghan war. Sotomayor said the incident, which has been condemned by the Pentagon, was likely to provoke legislation in Congress that would require judicial scrutiny.

KBR Worker Admits Taking Bribes

KBR Worker Admits Taking Bribes 27 Aug 2010 A former KBR employee in Afghanistan pleaded guilty today to taking $200,000 in bribes from subcontractors, and laundering the money. Daniel Freeman admitted he took the money while working as a contracts supervisor for KBR, federal prosecutors said. Freeman pleaded guilty to a two-count information accusing him of accepting corrupt payments while working on a federal program, and money laundering.

Swine flu vaccine safety probed over link to rare sleep disorder

Swine flu vaccine safety probed over link to rare sleep disorder --The safety of a swine flu vaccine is to be investigated by European drugs regulators after it was linked to a rare condition that causes people to fall asleep suddenly. 27 Aug 2010 The investigation has been prompted after health officials in Finland announced they were suspending the vaccination programme there following reports of narcolepsy in people who had received the jab. So far there have been 27 reports of suspected narcolepsy in people across Europe who had previously been vaccinated with Pandemrix, the H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline.

'US-led troops killed Afghan children'

'US-led troops killed Afghan children' 27 Aug 2010 Police in Afghanistan have confirmed that the US-led warplanes are to blame for the killing of six Afghan children in the country's volatile east. Police said on Friday that the children were collecting scrap metal in the mountain of eastern Kunar Province when a US-led plane dropped bombs on the area on Thursday. "In the bombardment six children, aged six to 12, were killed. Another child was injured," AFP quoted a regional police commander as saying.

Afghan war kills 3 more US soldiers

Afghan war kills 3 more US soldiers 27 Aug 2010 NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has announced that three US soldiers have been killed in separate bomb attacks in eastern and southern Afghanistan. ISAF said in a Friday press release that two service members died as a result of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strikes in eastern Afghanistan. Another American trooper lost his life when fell prey to a bomb explosion in the southern part of the war-battered country.

Halliburton's $150m Iraq Oilfield Deal

Mission Accomplished! Halliburton's $150m Iraq Oilfield Deal 22 Aug 2010 Further to our report last week Halliburton has confirmed that it has been awarded a letter of intent by Shell Iraq Petroleum Development B.V. for the development of the Majnoon field in Southern Iraq. Dow Jones suggests the contract for the 15 wells could be worth $150m. The giant Majnoon field is one of the world’s largest oilfields.

GOP plans wave of White House probes

GOP plans wave of White House probes 27 Aug 2010 If President Barack Obama needed any more incentive to go all out for Democrats this fall, here it is: Republicans are planning a wave of committee investigations targeting the White House and Democratic allies if they win back the majority. Everything from the New Black Panther party to the [Bush] bailouts – is on the GOP to-do list, according to a half-dozen Republican aides interviewed by POLITICO.

KBR to Execute Two Refinery Contracts for Iraq's Oil Ministry

Mission Accomplished! KBR to Execute Two Refinery Contracts for Iraq's Oil Ministry 27 Aug 2010  Iraq's Oil Ministry has awarded two contracts to global engineering services company KBR Incorporated for the proposed 150,000-barrel-per-day Maysan refining complex.

Radioactive Material Found at Walter Reed Medical Center

Radioactive Material Found at Walter Reed Medical Center --NRC: 'There were two apparent violations that involved a failure to control access to radioactive materials.' 26 Aug 2010 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is investigating an incident that took place at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Federal regulators are trying to find out why two packages of radioactive material sat under a counter in the medical center's main lobby for almost two days.

Tea Party Group [Allegedly] Hit With Death Threats

Tea Party Group [Allegedly] Hit With Death Threats --Armey: FreedomWorks will hire additional security 25 Aug 2010 One of Washington's principal supporters of the [corporaterrorist-backed] Tea Party movement, former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, has been receiving death threats and profanity-laced phone calls as it gets involved in the fall elections. The number and intensity have reached such heights that the organization is leaving its downtown location near the FBI and moving to a high-security building near the U.S. Capitol. [I wouldn't believe Dick Armey if his tongue came notarized.]

Ex-US President Carter frees American from North Korea

Ex-US President Carter frees American from North Korea 26 Aug 2010 Former US President Jimmy Carter has secured the release of an American citizen detained in North Korea. Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 31, was sentenced to eight years' hard labour in April, after being found guilty of illegally entering the country from China. Mr Carter met senior North Korean officials after arriving in Pyongyang on Wednesday. He has now left to fly back to the US with Mr Gomes, who had entered North Korea in January.

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